The Info List - Operation Anklet

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NAVAL: ROYAL NAVY 1 Light cruiser
Light cruiser
6 Destroyers
3 Minesweepers 2 Landing Ship Infantry 2 Submarines
1 Survey ship ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY 2 Tankers 1 Freighter 1 Tugboat ROYAL NORWEGIAN NAVY 2 Corvettes POLISH NAVY 2 Destroyers LAND: No. 12 Commando
No. 12 Commando
223 men Norwegian Company 77 men Eight divisions in Norway three coastal defence four infantry one Luftwaffe Field Division
Luftwaffe Field Division
Unknown number of aircraft and naval forces


1 light cruiser heavily damaged 1 patrol ship sunk 2 wireless stations destroyed

* v * t * e

Norwegian Campaigns (1941–45)

* Claymore * Anklet * Archery * Musketoon * Oslo raid * Checkmate * Cartoon

* Attacks on Tirpitz

* Source * Tungsten * Mascot * Goodwood * Paravane * Obviate * Catechism

* Leader * Finnmark * Provident * 28 January 1945 * Black Friday * 9 February 1945 * Judgement * Doomsday

* v * t * e

Raids and Commando Actions in Norway
during World War II

* Claymore * Kirkenes and Petsamo * Gauntlet * Anklet * Archery * Fritham * Musketoon

* Heavy water sabotage

* Freshman * SF Hydro

* Checkmate * Zitronella * Source

OPERATION ANKLET was the codename given to a British Commando raid during the Second World War
Second World War
. The raid on the Lofoten
Islands was carried out in December 1941, by 300 men from No. 12 Commando
No. 12 Commando
and the Norwegian Independent Company 1 . The landing party was supported by 22 ships from three navies.

At the same time, another raid was taking place in Vågsøy
. This raid was Operation Archery
Operation Archery
, on 27 December 1941, and Operation Anklet was seen as a diversionary raid for this bigger raid, intended to draw away the German naval and air forces.


* 1 Background * 2 Mission * 3 Aftermath

* 4 Notes

* 4.1 Footnotes

* 5 Citations

* 5.1 Bibliography

* 6 External links


After the British Expeditionary Force had been evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940, the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
called for a force to be assembled and equipped to inflict casualties on the Germans and bolster British morale. Churchill told the joint Chiefs of Staff to propose measures for an offensive against German-occupied Europe, and stated: "they must be prepared with specially trained troops of the hunter class who can develop a reign of terror down the enemy coast."

One staff officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley Clarke
Dudley Clarke
, had already submitted such a proposal to General
Sir John Dill
John Dill
, the Chief of the Imperial General
Staff . Dill, aware of Churchill's intentions, approved Clarke's proposal.

The Commandos came under the operational control of the Combined Operations Headquarters . The man initially selected as the commander was Admiral
Sir Roger Keyes , a veteran of the Gallipoli Campaign
Gallipoli Campaign
and the Zeebrugge Raid
Zeebrugge Raid
in the First World War
First World War
. In 1940, the call went out for volunteers from among the serving Army soldiers within certain formations still in Britain, and men of the disbanding Divisional Independent Companies originally raised from Territorial Army Divisions who had seen service in Norway.

The Lofoten
Islands form part of the north western Norwegian coastline about 100 mi (160 km) inside the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
. Operation Anklet would be the second raid on the islands. The first, Operation Claymore , had taken place in March 1941, and the third raid, Operation Archery
Operation Archery
, would take place at the same time as Operation Anklet.

The raid was organised by the Combined Operations Headquarters
Combined Operations Headquarters
, and would only use naval and land assets, the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
was not involved. But it would be the last raid undertaken without air support.

The naval force formed for Operation Anklet
Operation Anklet
consisted of 22 ships from three navies. The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
provided the most ships which included the light cruiser HMS Arethusa ; six destroyers (HMS Somali , Ashanti , Bedouin , Eskimo , Lamerton and Wheatland ); three minesweepers (HMS Speedwell , Harrier and Halcyon ); two Landing Ship Infantry (HMS Prins Albert and Prinses Josephine Charlotte); the submarines HMS Tigris , HMS Sealion ; and the survey ship HMS Scott . The Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
provided two fleet tankers (RFA Grey Ranger and Black Ranger ); the freighter Gudrun Maersk ; and the Tugboat Jaunty.

The exiled Royal Norwegian Navy
Royal Norwegian Navy
provided the corvettes HNoMS Andenes and Eglantine , while the Polish Navy
Polish Navy
provided the destroyers OORP Krakowiak and Kujawiak .

The landing force was supplied by 223 men of No. 12 Commando
No. 12 Commando
, supported by 77 men of the Norwegian Independent Company 1 .


The naval task force was assembled at three locations: Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
, Greenock
and Lerwick
. The task force, now known as Force J, left Scapa and Greenock
for the Lofoten
Islands on Monday 22 December, and those at Lerwick
the following day. En route to join up with the main force, the infantry landing ship Prinses Josephine Charlotte developed engine trouble, and together with her destroyer escort Wheatland was sent back to Scapa, arriving on 24 December. Wheatland left Scapa alone on 25 December to catch up with the rest of Force J. As the task force approached the islands, the submarine Sealion was already in position to act as a navigational beacon for the attack, which was planned for 26 December.

When the task force arrived, the infantry landing ship Prins Albert, escorted by destroyer Lamerton and corvettes Eglantine and Acanthus, headed towards Moskenesøya to land the commandos. Some of the other ships conducted operations around the islands. The destroyer Bedouin destroyed a radio station at Flakstadøya , while the cruiser Arethusa and destroyers Somali, Ashanti, and Eskimo entered the Vestfjorden . Here they captured the Norwegian coastal steamers Kong Harald and Nordland and Ashanti sank a German patrol boat. Reine
one of the villages occupied in the raid

The 300-man landing force landed at 06:00 on